Question: Are the terms Salvation, Liberation, Samadhi,
Nirvana, and Moksha are identical in your opinion?
Answer: No, there is difference between them.
How is Salvation understood in, say, Orthodoxy? One has to be baptized, to confess
the sins, to receive Communion, to visit church regularly, to cross oneself —
then one will be saved. And those who do not do that will not be saved.
Some people realize that this is not enough for the complete self-realization.
This is necessary only for those who just start walking the religious path.
If we do go deeper, a question arises: “What are we saving ourselves from?” From
hell? But is it what Jesus called us to? He taught not to save ourselves from hell
but to become perfect as God is perfect! And faith alone is not enough for us to
be saved from hell: as it is said “without deeds the faith is dead”!
The term Nirvana denotes a whole class of states, stages of ascent — from the
first instance of achieving Nirvana up to establishing oneself finally in it . At
this part of the Path, one has to do a lot, in particular, to master “static” and
“dynamic” aspects of Nirvana in Brahman and Nirvana in Ishvara. There also exists
a very big gap between reaching these states — and full and steadfast mastery of
them. When the latter is achieved, it constitutes the attainment of Mahanirvana.
The term Samadhi is also many-sided. In the Bhagavad Gita, Samadhi is an emotional
state arising during first immersions of the consciousness into Atman. In this sense
this word is used in our School. But some Hindu schools started expanding the meaning
of this term — both onto the higher and lower states. The highest among them is
called Sahaja-Samadhi what is somewhat equivalent to the state of Mukti.
The term Liberation means getting free from all attachments to everything “earthly”,
including the body and “I”. In Sanskrit, this word sounds as Mukti (Moksha).